First-Timers Family Guide to Miami

Miami history dates back to 600 BC with villages along the Miami River. Today, the main attraction is still the water but is mostly concentrated on the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. There are more than 80 beaches and parks along the shorelines of Miami where you and the kids can have fun.

The city also has a lot of indoor activities for you and your youngsters no matter whether they are toddlers or teens. From fun children’s museums to exciting aquariums, you can get out of the heat and have fun too. Leave your suitcases with a suitcase storage facility in Miami and then go explore!

Indoor Fun

  • Miami Seaquarium

Swim with the dolphins or seals, meet sharks and stingrays face to face, and play with African penguins at Miami Seaquarium. You can even be a dolphin trainer for a day or walk through the 300,000-gallon tropical tank with a dive helmet. See different varieties of turtles, sea lions, fish, and more at this fun place.

  • Miami Children’s Museum

This place is so cool, the kids won’t even realize how much they are learning. With over 56 thousand square feet, there are 14 galleries, classrooms, a gift shop, and interactive exhibits. Make music in the Music Studio, climb walls in Mt. MichiMu, and build something in the Construction Zone.

  • Fun Dimension

When it’s too hot or rainy to be outside, enjoy the indoor fun park at Fun Dimension. Let the kids shoot at you in a game of laser tag, bounce off each other in the bumper cars, and climb the walls on the climbing wall. They also have virtual reality games, an arcade, and an XD theater.

  • Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

At this science museum, your kids can see some amazing things. See a 500,000-gallon gulf stream aquarium filled with sharks and stingrays right over your head. Learn about the solar system at the 250-seat planetarium. And see nature’s most unusual creatures and find out more about science at the labs.

  • The Poppet Project

If you have a creative kid or budding artist but you hate the mess, stop in at the Poppet Project where your kids can paint, glue, and glitter everything without worry. And let them take things apart and put them back together. They will learn how to make their own masterpieces as well as how to work with a team.

Outdoor Fun

  • Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami has over 750 acres with about 3,000 animals in more than 100 exhibits. Meet some local creatures at the Everglades exhibit, see tigers, camels, and rhinos in the Asia exhibit, and the African exhibit boasts hippos, elephants, gorillas, giraffes, and ostriches. Don’t miss the kangaroos in the Australian exhibit!

  • Jungle Island

If you want to see the jungle without trekking to the Amazon, go to Jungle Island. This eco-park is a blast with thousands of parrots and other feathered friends who share Watson Island with other guests. Some of the fun there includes a Nerf stadium, escape rooms, zip lines, a wind tunnel, and waterslides.

  • Tidal Cove

This waterpark has some high-speed action like the Whizzard that takes you through a 360-degree loop and drop, and the Constrictor with the highest banking and tightest turns found in any waterpark. Kids Cove is great for the little ones with pint-sized splash makers and activities. They even have a spa for the adults.

  • Monkey Jungle

When you go to this jungle, the first thing you will notice is that the monkeys are running wild and you are the one in the cage. Open since 1933, there are over 300 monkeys such as the Java monkey, macaques, capuchins, and howlers. The wild monkey swimming pool is a great place for some selfies!

  • Paradise Cove Water Park

You can find Paradise Cove in Broward’s C.B. Smith Park. The park itself has all sorts of activities but the water park is the main attraction with several 50-foot-tall water slides, a lazy river, and kiddy pools. The big bucket that dumps water on you is fantastic and the kids can even shoot each other with water guns.


  • South Pointe Park Beach

Besides the huge beach with lifeguards, South Pointe Park also has a 450-foot pier where you can walk out over the ocean. Or walk along the promenade and watch the yachts go by before letting the kids cool off in the splash zone. You can even rent bikes or just get a beach chair and watch the kids play in the surf.

  • Key Biscayne

The beach on the island of Key Biscayne is more like a paradise than a beach. The serene scene used to be a coconut plantation but is now an oasis of sandy beaches, beautiful waters, and plenty of attractions. The nature and visitor center is popular and there are a number of eateries, pubs, and shops, too.

  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

This park was named one of the top 10 beaches in the United States several times and boasts a beautiful white sandy beach with excellent swimming and snorkeling. The 1825 lighthouse here is a major attraction and a great place for selfies. There is also a museum and visitor center as well as bike and kayak rentals.

  • Venetian Pool

It may not be a beach, but the Venetian Pool is even better. Built into a coral rock quarry in 1921 is an 820,000-gallon man-made pool surrounded by beautiful coral. The water is not pool water though; it is spring water from an underground aquifer. During the busy season, they drain and refill it daily to keep it sparkling clean.

  • Matheson Hammock Park

Just south of the pool, Matheson Hammock Park is popular for kiteboarding as well as swimming. The tide pool is manmade and gets its water from the bay, making it a great place for younger kids to safely swim. The snack bar and restaurant will keep you from going hungry while you enjoy the sun.

During your visit, you will have plenty of time to enjoy some Miami eateries and they have some excellent choices for families. Shake Shack and Five Guys are both great fast-food joints. Ms. Cheesious is a popular place for cheese lovers. And try Gelato-Go or Azucar Ice Cream Factory for dessert.